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April 27, 1918

THE OWEN-DYER BILLS FOR INCREASED RANK OF MEDICAL OFFICERS

Author Affiliations

New York. Late Surgeon-Major, U. S. Volunteer Engineers

JAMA. 1918;70(17):1252-1254. doi:10.1001/jama.1918.02600170052028

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Abstract

To the Editor:  —The bills now pending before Congress for increased rank and authority for the medical officers of our Army are of as grave importance as any measures that have been presented since the American nation entered the present war, for on their adoption or rejection may depend the final issues of the conflict, especially if the war is greatly prolonged. When it is remembered that the Medical Department of the Army has to combat a foe that in all the great wars of history, excepting the Russo-Japanese, has caused 80 per cent, of the entire mortality—never less than four times, and often twenty times, as many as the artillery, infantry, shells and all other methods of physical destruction combined—then the responsibility and importance of the medical officer in war will be appreciated.The department that he represents has never had the necessary authority to enable it to reduce

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